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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 8,814
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

The best laid plans can often have unintended consequences. When Bonneville Dam was built on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington in the 1930’s, the inclusion of fish ladders was revolutionary [1], and a direct reaction to the tens of thousands that depended on the salmon industry. The need to keep the waterways open for the millions of salmon, steelhead, and other fish that travel to spawn every spring became even more vital as many of the fish that use the ladders were placed on the endangered species list.

In concept, the plan is sound, and has helped raise the fish population over the years [2]. Now the Bonneville Dam is facing a new problem that is placing the delicate fish population in grave danger: sea lions.

The Bonneville Dam fish ladders have become a buffet for sea lions migrating to the warmer California waters. Over the past few years, the salmon survival rate has continued to drop [2]. In 2012 the survival rate was 82 percent. Just two short years later, the survival rate dropped to 55 percent.

Currently, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is working to protect the fish population by culling sea lions [3]. Although they claim killing the sea lions is a last resort, nearly 40 have been killed in the first 6 months of 2017. What is most galling is that the sea lions are also federally protected [4], giving the Department of Fish and Wildlife the choice between killing an endangered species, or allowing an endangered species to be killed.

This problem is entirely man-made. Without the dam and the fish ladder, the salmon wouldn’t be such easy targets for the sea lions. Instead of killing off sea lions to solve a human made problem, The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to concentrate on humane, non-lethal methods like trapping and relocating. Trading the lives of one protected species for another is a battle that will never have a winner.

Tell the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to work on humane solutions that will benefit both the sea lions and the salmon!

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To the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,

The Bonneville Dam has been a fixture on the Columbia river for more than 80 years. While the conservation efforts to protect the salmon and other fish who use the dams fish ladders yielded great results, the recent encroachment of sea lions using the fish ladders to easy access to food has caused an untenable situation.

Both the sea lions and salmonids are protected species, which makes the situation difficult, but the killing of sea lions preying on the fish is horrific and unnecessary. The problem is entirely man-made, and taking the life of a protected species as a solution to an issue we created is vile. The dam limits the sea lion’s ability to find food, and essentially forces them to hunt the fish ladders.

The protection of both species is vital to the ecosystem, and culling the sea lion population for simply trying to feed themselves needs to end. The resources of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would be far better served finding safe, non-lethal methods of removal such as trap and release. The delicate sea lion population should not pay for human errors!

Thank you,

Petition Signatures


Apr 25, 2018 K G
Apr 25, 2018 Debra Gagliano
Apr 25, 2018 Barbara Jepson
Apr 25, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 25, 2018 Cynthia Sewak
Apr 25, 2018 Demetrice Howard
Apr 24, 2018 Christy Watson
Apr 24, 2018 Quin Bailey
Apr 24, 2018 Paige Murchison
Apr 24, 2018 Carolyn Vinton
Apr 24, 2018 Hope Elliott
Apr 24, 2018 Jacqueline Gary
Apr 23, 2018 Karen Nickell
Apr 23, 2018 Theresa DiTullio
Apr 23, 2018 Sabrina Volpe
Apr 23, 2018 Dawn Siemens
Apr 23, 2018 A S
Apr 23, 2018 Kristine Richter
Apr 23, 2018 Mary henson
Apr 22, 2018 (Name not displayed) Animal crulity is bad. We should love all animals
Apr 22, 2018 Mary Vincenzes Stop killing animals
Apr 22, 2018 Cynthia Begg
Apr 22, 2018 Kalliope M.
Apr 22, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 22, 2018 Lisa Salazar
Apr 21, 2018 Sabrena Adams
Apr 21, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 20, 2018 Alex Antonites
Apr 20, 2018 Marlene Thrasher
Apr 18, 2018 Jean Fountain
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 18, 2018 Maura Casu
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed) Leave wildlife alone
Apr 17, 2018 (Name not displayed) There is no need to kill the sea lions! If you didn't build the dam and the fish ladder there wouldn't be this dilemma.
Apr 17, 2018 Fran Amos
Apr 17, 2018 kathy zatorsky
Apr 17, 2018 Patricia Marron
Apr 17, 2018 Tina Chenier
Apr 17, 2018 Anna Rincon
Apr 17, 2018 ISABEL CERVERA
Apr 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2018 Shamaya Remmark
Apr 16, 2018 Donna Long STOP ANIMAL ABUSE
Apr 16, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 16, 2018 Gilberto Simao
Apr 16, 2018 Carol ODELL
Apr 16, 2018 Deborah Mackie Stop the killings. This is outrageous.
Apr 16, 2018 Sandra Smith
Apr 16, 2018 Margaret Luera All animals should be left alone to live their lives.
Apr 16, 2018 Donna Adams

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